1330.0 - Education News, May 2014  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/05/2014   
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CensusAtSchool: How are Australian students using the Internet?

Did you know that between October and December 2013, over 27,000 terabytes of data was downloaded by Australians with Internet access via a mobile handset? This represents an increase of 41 per cent in mobile handset data downloads from the three months ending 30 June 2013 (Source: Internet Activity, Australia, December 2013, cat. no. 8153.0).

Data collected by the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire has revealed that Australian students are increasingly accessing the Internet from mobile phones. Since 2006, the percentage of students accessing the Internet from 'other' devices, including mobile phones, has risen from 3.4 per cent to 19.9 per cent in 2013. With students' easy access to mobile phones, it comes as no surprise that they are now accessing the Internet through other devices rather than traditional computers.

Fast facts:

  • In 2013, only 5 per cent of Australian students who completed the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire could not access the Internet at home.
  • Very few Australian students are hearing the screech of dial-up Internet. In 2013, only 3 percent of Australian students had a dial-up Internet connection, compared to 29.6 per cent in 2006.
  • In 2013, broadband connection was the most common way for students to access the Internet (72.1 per cent).
  • In 2013, students spent a median of 10.0 hours using the computer/Internet each week. This was equal to hanging out with friends as the most popular weekly activity.
  • Girls more often use the Internet for social networking (52 per cent) than boys (38 per cent).

Ideas for the classroom

1. Sample vs. Population
Compare your class to CensusAtSchool population data from 2013 on how boys and girls use the Internet. You can use CensusAtSchool 2013 Summary data - you will need Tables 13A and 13B.

Alternatively, the same data is displayed as an infographic poster. The poster can be viewed online or downloaded for free as a PDF file.

2. Time Series Analysis
Compare changes over time of how students access the Internet in Australia using CensusAtSchool data from 2006 - 2013. To do this, you can use CensusAtSchool Time Series data in Table 12.

Alternatively, the same data is displayed as an infographic poster. The poster can be viewed online or downloaded for free as a PDF file.

3. Sample vs. Sample
You can compare variance in samples to measure how students engage with technology in Australia by using the CensusAtSchool Random Sampler to generate a sample, and comparing it to other random samples in the class, alternatively, conduct a survey of your own class using the same questions that appear in the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire.

You can view the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire online, or download and print it off as a PDF file, on our Past Questionnaires page.